Hair, hair, everywhere: pH


So I received an email essentially saying I talked so much about the pH of skin and I neglected to talk about the pH of hair, so allow me to remedy this. This is gonna be a bit of science lesson. For the record, it is not possible to take the pH of hair because pH can only be found in aqueous solutions. I will however discuss the importance of knowing the pH of your hair products.


“Let’s start with pH. Firstly, dry hair has no pH. Only aqueous solutions have pH’s. When hair is in an aqueous solution it normally has a pH of 4.5 to 5.5 the skin does too. One of the most beneficial treatments hair can have is to be acidified. pH’s of 3.0 to 3.5 will not only close the cuticle but more importantly compact it. This:
1) Adds natural shine –  (light reflects off a smooth surface)
2) Detangles – Cuticle layer can not “grab” each other.
3) Adds elasticity – The lower the pH, it higher the positive charge. This in turn brings hydrogen bonds from a beta state (weak) to and alpha state (strong). Hydrogen bondsaccount for nearly 100% of the hair’s elasticity.
4) Locks in moisture and protein – A compacted cuticle will not allow evaporation or dissociation as much as an open cuticle.

Contrary to belief, most shampoos has a pH lower than 7.0 (neutral). The key is to bring the pH down much lower. pH’s lower than 3.0 can have adverse effects during prolonged use. Example) lemon juice has a pH of ~2.5.

Acidifiers will benefit all hair types. No client should leave a salon without one. Clients with baby fine hair will love the benefits as well as thick porous hair clients” Adapted from: http://www.salonweb.com/gold/pc.htm

My favorite acidier is diluted apple cider vinegar or lemon juice in the summer for beautiful highlights. Happy hair hunting!

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